Online Only Further Away Than Expected
IGN has received word from Sony’s Jim Ryan confirming that Blu-Ray discs will be the PlayStation 4’s main delivery mechanic to the consumers. Though many have speculated online distribution would be the main focus of next generation, Sony believes a disc-based future will be the primary source for consumers.
“Clearly, and this applies not just to games but to pretty much every form of entertainment, there is a trend to increased digital consumption, and that is happening now on PS3 and will continue and will probably accelerate on PS4,” Ryan told IGN. “But the primary delivery mechanism for the big games on the PS4 platform will continue to be Blu-Ray discs, for the foreseeable future.”
Though Sony has definitely upped their game in online distribution, now offering retail games day-in-date on the PlayStation Network. Though the prices on PSN, have been far less competitive compared to the retail market. So how long does Sony see this “foreseeable future“?
IGN asked if five years was the answers, “That sort of horizon, yes,” Ryan stated. The reason being that at this time online connections with enough speed to download full retail games promptly, are very rare. With Australian internet connection taking days to finish downloading a retail game from PSN, these are the issues Ryan hopes to avoid.
“If you go down to Southern Europe, where we have very big and important businesses, it can take you 3 days over a standard internet connection to download a file of the size, and that’s not fun. There are certain gating factors in terms of internet infrastructure that mandate that the disc-based solution is going to be the primary delivery mechanism for the foreseeable future.”
One of Sony’s latest exclusives Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch was 22GBs in size, though PSN would only allow consumers to download the game if 42GBs of hard drive space were located on the console. Ryan believes that these size issues, coupling with slow speed internet in Southern Europe, some parts of North America and Australia, mean the online only future is still a ways off.
When do you think an online future could be feasible? How long does it take to download a full retail disc on your console? Personally, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale took me 9 hours. Is heading to your local game store really that inconvenient? Analog Addiction will make sure to keep you covered on all things digital distribution and the future of online services.